November 5, 2018 / 11:14 PM
Official denies Iran, Kurdistan Region ties suspended

Despite the snapback of US sanctions on Iran, goods continued to be traded between the Kurdistan Region and Iran on Monday, November 5, a Kurdish official said.

Director of the Bashmakh Customs Department Shakhawan Abubakir refuted claims that trade had been suspended between the Region and Iran.

 “The movement continues as usual,” Abubakir told NRT.

The US sanctions will not have any impact on the Kurdistan Region and its markets because Washington has given waivers to Iraq, he added.

According to the report trade also continued to flow at the Haji Omaran border crossing.

However, the waiver is conditional on Iraq not paying Iran for the imports in US dollars. While this primarily affects the oil sector, which is dollar-dominated, other goods are also traded in dollars. This is of particular relevance given the Iranian rial's volatility and devaluation over the past year, which prompted many Iranians to convert their rials into safer assets.

China, India, South Korea, Japan, and Turkey - all top importers of Iranian oil - are also said to be among eight countries expected to be given temporary exemptions from the sanctions to ensure crude oil prices are not destabilized.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the country would sell its oil and break sanctions reimposed by the United States on its vital energy and banking sectors.

 “America wanted to cut to zero Iran’s oil sales ... but we will continue to sell our oil ... to break sanctions,” Rouhani told economists at a meeting broadcast live on state television.

Reporter’s code: 50101